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Communists 'in charge of army'

Chinese president Hu Jintao is stressing the ruling Communist Party's ultimate control over China's rapidly modernising military.

Mr Hu's assertion came in a statement in the military's Liberation Army Daily newspaper calling on the 2.3 million-member force to develop advanced military culture.

That is communist shorthand for retaining a leading role for socialist ideology.

Such calls seek to counter any movement toward nationalising the force by making it ultimately responsible to the government rather than the party.

The People's Liberation Army has in recent years acquired latest-generation jet fighters and other advanced equipment.

Last year it began sea trials for its first aircraft carrier.


From Belfast Telegraph